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Consultation on Welfare Reforms Inadequate

2 April 2012

Consultation on Welfare Reforms Inadequate

“The Government has not provided adequate time for consultation on its Social Security (Youth Support and Work Focus) Amendment Bill,” National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) President Elizabeth Bang said today.

Elizabeth Bang was commenting on the deadline for submissions on the Bill of 13 April.

“The public has only 11 working days to make a written submission to the Social Services Select Committee. This is simply not enough time for organisations like the National Council of Women to consult with its members throughout the country, and it’s even more difficult with Easter in the middle.

“In its own words the Government has described the legislation as ‘part of a comprehensive package of welfare reform’. These are major changes affecting thousands of New Zealanders.

“Women will experience the greatest impact of the changes, with sole parents, widows, and women alone targeted,” Elizabeth Bang said.

“The timeframe is totally unrealistic. It will put considerable pressure on those who want to express their views. It will also put pressure on the select committee hearing submissions.

“We strongly urge the Government to extend the period for submissions to give New Zealanders a fair, reasonable and democratic opportunity to discuss the implications of the proposed changes and have their say,” concluded Elizabeth Bang.

ENDS

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